In terms of laser detection, you have two options.
- Certainty of detection in every encounter, even if that reduces the possibility of advance warning.
- Maximization of advance warning, even if it reduces the certainty of detection in all encounters.
The problem here is you must decide which of the two alternatives you prefer, as it is difficult to perfect detection in both aspects.
Factors That Influence Laser Defense
- Distance From Laser Source – The beam of a laser actually expands with distance. This means the actual beam may only be a few feet wide at 500 feet from the source, but thanks to human error (the person holding the gun and shaking/moving slightly), the gun may be detectable at upwards of 1500 feet! However, since the beam is so fine at close ranges, a detector may miss detection depending on distance from the source. The most common ‘shooting’ points for laser/radar guns are the front license plate and/or the nearest headlight (to the officer).
- Amount of Sunlight – Sunlight actually causes interference with laser detection. This means that reflections or bright sunlight may cause interference, but the V1 is programmed to exclude most of this, specifically from areas that are unlikely to contain laser threats (very high above, very low, or far to either side).
- Your Vehicle’s Color – Directly related to sunlight, the color of your car also factors into the amount of reflection appears from your car. For instance, white, silver and bright/metallic colors are upwards of 100 times more likely to reflect light into the detector than a gloss black paint!
- Traffic Between Laser Source and Detector – Depending on the situation, traffic may block or reflect laser signal from a distant source. The two worst cases for laser detection (from the driver’s point of view) are extremely heavy traffic where you will detect the laser signal after it is far too late, or if you are the only vehicle on the road or in the area — when the same outcome occurs.
- Road Shape – Roads with high hills or extreme curves vastly decrease the chance of laser detection. As explained earlier, the detector needs a fragment of the laser source to alert you.
Additional Information About Laser Defense
To be more certain about never missing a laser alert, it is recommend to mount your detector as close as possible to a potential target point (low on your windshield).
However, if you are looking to maximize the chance of an advanced warning, you should mount your detector where there is the smallest chance of blockage and interference (high on your windshield).
Why Many Believe a High Mount is Better
With a high and center detector mount, the chances of picking up additional signals of all kinds is greatly increased. On top of that, your detector can “see” further ahead due to simply increasing the height. Also, as explained earlier, reflections are one of the causes of false alarms. Mounting high on your windshield will decrease the chances of that happening.
The one downside of a high mount is that you are pulling the detector further from the common aiming point.
With that, you can make your own decisions, but when driving 20MPH+ over the speed limit, a late warning is good as nothing. I’ll take an early warning any day, which is why I use the high-center mount with my V1.
Much of this information was pulled directly from the official Valentine One site.